“Every citizen should have a better quality of life in the city” : Raj Cherubal, CEO, Chennai Smart City Limited

When the Smart Cities Mission was launched in 2015, Chennai was one of 20 cities selected in the first phase. In the first of a five-part series of interviews with the CEO of Chennai Smart City Limited, we explore the aims attached with the smart city mission in Chennai.

When the smart cities mission was launched in 2015, it held much promise for Chennai as it was one of 20 cities selected in the initial phase. Chennai was formally identified in January 2016 for a slew of projects that ranged from water conservation to pedestrianisation. While the city saw a slow start to these projects, ranking only 37 out of 87 cities when the smart cities were ranked in 2018.

However, two years later, key projects such as the Pedestrian Plaza and rolling out of smart bikes have taken place. Expansion of these initiatives are in the pipeline now, along with the launch of new efforts centered around parking management, e-bikes and water body rejuvenation.

As the scope and scale of the smart city projects grow, the various efforts undertaken have attracted their fair share of brickbats and bouquets. Citizen Matters spoke to Raj Cherubal, CEO of Chennai Smart City Limited, the SPV constituted to conceptualise and execute the projects, to have some of the concerns addressed and also seek the latest information on what is in store for the city.

In the first of this five-part series, Raj shares his ideas on what can be deemed as a “smart city”. While other nations have grappled with these ideas, the concept is relatively new to India and  Chennai. With this in mind, he says that we must do what we can in terms of interventions necessary to improve the quality of life of the citizens. The interventions may be based on the creation of new infrastructure or the adoption of technology to simply certain aspects of urban living, but they must take place now in order for Indian cities to catch up with other parts of the world.

In response to the choice of locations for the project, he points out that the interventions are designed in a manner that a successful pilot in one part of the city will pave way for replication of similar efforts in other parts of the city. He adds that the focus on T Nagar is due to it being the area chosen under the Area-Based Development model adopted by all cities under the smart cities mission.

Watch our interview to find out what the larger aims of the smart city mission are for Chennai city and the means to achieve them.

[Interviewed by Laasya Shekhar ]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

How Mumbaikars can register civic complaints and ensure BMC action

BMC's system to register civic complaints is good, but the Blue Ribbon Movement is trying to improve redressal for a better and cleaner Mumbai.

In early January, Dahisar resident Pankati noticed garbage being thrown behind one of the electric junction boxes in Kandarpada, her neighbourhood. It had accumulated over a few weeks. This was not a garbage collection point and it used to be clean before. She decided to raise a civic complaint on that garbage issue using the ‘MyBMC Assist’ WhatsApp Chatbot, which is run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Pankati, a volunteer with the Blue Ribbon Movement, found garbage being dumped behind an electric junction box in Khandarpada. Pic: Aniruddha Gaonkar After waiting for over a month, the garbage was still…

Similar Story

City Buzz: Delhi ranks 350th in global index | Heat wave grips north… and more

In other news: Heat-related illnesses claim lives; Urban women in salaried jobs at 6-yr low and Delhi issues first bus aggregator licence.

Delhi ranks 350 in global index; no Indian city in top 300 Oxford Economics’ new ‘Global Cities Index’ report ranks Delhi at 350, the highest among 91 Indian cities. This was the first edition of the index, released on 21st May by the global advisory firm, Oxford Economics, which is assessing metropolitan cities across 163 countries on five parameters - economics, human capital, quality of life, environment, and governance. The top three cities in the list are New York, London and San Jose. In the category of human capital, which “encompasses the collective knowledge and skills of a city’s population,” measured…